26 February 2022, 14:00
As the race for the top four heats up going into the final two months of the season, Arsenal find themselves in a strong position to return to the Champions League if they can maintain their impressive recent run of form. Watford, however, represent a unique kind of threat as a team desperately fighting for their survival in the league.
Watford capable of a big upset
The Hornets may find themselves in the relegation zone as we get to the business end of the season, but a brief look at some of their wins shows a potential they can tap into when you least expect it. Notable results include a 5-2 away win over Everton in October and a 4-1 thrashing of Manchester United in November 2021, as well as doing a league double over Aston Villa.
Make no mistake; this is a team that can beat the bigger clubs in this league on their best days. Unfortunately for them, they haven't found the consistency to achieve this on a regular basis and hence they find themselves toward the foot of the table. The Gunners will be hoping this game isn't one of those best days.
Arsenal's young squad continue to deliver
While it hasn't been an entirely great season for Arsenal, they've shown enough consistency to still be in with a chance of an impressive finish. This has been largely thanks not primarily to big name strikers like Lacazette or the recently departed Aubameyang, but rather to young talents such as Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, both of whom scored in their recent 2-1 win over Brentford.
Perhaps the most intimidating thing for Arsenal's immediate rivals is that their current crop of young players - guided by a similarly inexperienced manager - are managing to build a strong push for a top four spot even while still developing. How far can this squad go in coming years? If they manage to stick together, adding the right quality support during transfer windows, it could be very far indeed.